Intl Breads 2: Baguette and Mountain

2007-11-13

One of the first things Chef did was to hand out a revised version of last week's New York Rye. As I had predicted, this recipe had more yeast and less rye flour. These loaves were much softer and much more edible than our initial versions.

Olive Thyme BaguettesMonday's class featured baguettes, something we made in Art of Breads but we enriched this recipe with olives and fresh thyme, added to the dough during the final two minutes of mixing. Chef had us proof our loaves on special baguette pans. Unfortunately, these didn't work out too well: the cornmeal fell right through the tiny holes (better to dust the loaves rather than the pan) and we sprayed the pans from the underside after placing the dough in. As a result, we had to scrape our baguettes out. No matter though, these were flavourful and delicious and will make fantastic garlic bread.

Mountain BreadOur second product was mountain bread (no explanation of why it's called that) which had rye, whole wheat and 9-grain flours mixed in to it. The dough was quite soft and didn't completely clear the bowl until the very last minute of mixing. Bench time was quite long at 45 minutes but this is a heavy bread. We made up three loaves each, two as batards and one as a boule slashed into a tic-tac-toe pattern. The crust turned out very soft and the texture of the loaf was light spongy. A winner at work where I served it with some (wildly overpriced) Harvest Song strawberry preserves purchased from The Cheese Boutique.

Before leaving, we also made up a starter dough which I took home to take care of. The extended sponge was very active, growing out of my small container in the car, and even the larger container I transferred it to in the fridge. Throughout the week, I degassed it when it began to fill the bowl. Next Monday in the morning, we're supposed to add 3/4 cup of flour and then bring it back to class for use in another bread.

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